Two dedicated workers at a cricket club in Wansbeck have been short-listed for national awards for services to the sport.
Mick Brown and Adam Nichol, both associated with Go North East Northumberland & Tyneside League outfit Ashington won their respective groups in the regional sections of the Nat West OSCAS.
The pair will now travel to Lord’s in October for the national presentations.
Brown won the category ‘Get the game on’ whilst Nichol’s award was ‘Young volunteer of the year.’
Brown, who was born in North Seaton Colliery and is an ex-miner, said: “This award came out of the blue. I knew nothing about it.
“I come up to the ground at Langwell Crescent every day for at least 12 hours a day and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.”
Brown, who will be 68 in September, added: “I began work at the club last year and my prior knowledge of cutting grass was mowing the lawn in my back garden.
“I had never done any groundwork before.
“I have since been on courses and I spent a day at Durham County Cricket ground with Dave Mercer who was the groundsman, and that was unbelievable.
“I am learning all the time with Arnie Gilholm, who is my mentor at Langwell Crescent and who keeps me right.
“We are a good team and results are speaking for themselves.”
Ashington CC’s first XI skipper Greg Williams said: “I think it’s great for Mick because it shows how much we appreciate him.
“He deserves it because he has worked diligently on the ground to get games on when it looked a lost cause.
“The field is looking the best I have ever seen it but he also does the surrounding areas of the club.
“He is worth his weight in gold in my opinion.”
Twenty-year-old Nichol is a student at Northumbria University, a Chance to Shine/Player Pathway coach at Northumberland Cricket Board Limited and a referee development and training co-ordinator at the Northumberland Football Association.
He said: “I am very grateful to receive this award and thoroughly enjoy the work that I carry out at Ashington Cricket Club, increasing participation and retention levels.
“The children and parents at Ashington Cricket Club have been extremely supportive of the work that I have completed and without them I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this award.
“I would also like to extend my thanks to my parents and all at Ashington Cricket Club who set me off on my coaching journey and gave me a real passion for the domain.”
Nichol faces a busy few days as he will travel to the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough for an ECB award before going down to the national awards in London at the start of the following week.
Ashington CC chairman Bob Dunning said: “The awards are well deserved.
“Mick and Adam have done tremendous work for the cricket club and have helped the club develop over the last two years.
“We are very grateful for their efforts and we wish them well in the national awards.”